REDWOOD CITY, Calif., September 18, 2001– Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) puts the puck in the net with NHL® 2002 for PC shipping today. NHL 2002 for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system ships next week.

NHL 2002 becomes the first interactive game to completely integrate DTS Interactive™ audio technology into a next-generation console game, bringing theater-quality sound to NHL 2002 for the PlayStation 2 console.  For example, gamers will now be able to hear approaching defenseman skating toward them from various sides in DTS multi-channel surround sound.

In-game music is provided by Barenaked Ladies, the multi-platinum Reprise recording artists from Toronto who will debut “It’s Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland),” also to be released on their greatest hits album titled Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits / 1991-2001. Fans will be able to play as band members through the Create Player feature, allowing them to enter band members’ names and save the musician to the team of their choice. Additionally, chart-topping punk band Sum 41 features its hit single “Fat Lip” as well as “Makes No Difference.” Other bands in NHL 2002 include The Tea Party, Treble Charger, Jet Set Satellite, and more.

NHL 2002 is an official game of the NHL® and NHLPA®, and includes all 30 NHL franchises, 20 of the world’s top International teams, and over 700 face-mapped models of active NHL players, including NHL 2002 spokesman and Penguins owner and center Mario Lemieux.  

In order to raise NHL 2002 to the next level in interactive hockey gaming, the development team placed a high priority on enhancing and creating features that reward the user and evoke the same emotional highs that result from intense competition.  Thus the creation of features like the new Breakaway Cam, which intensifies one-on-one situations. As the skater stickhandles toward the goal, contested by only the goalie, the camera zooms in on the player and the sounds of the cheering crowd fade to his pounding heart and scraping skates as he focuses on the scoring opportunity. 

EA GameStory, which highlights in-game action through visuals, multiple camera angles, replays, in-game audio and lively commentary by Jim Hughson and Don Taylor. Earning boosts, cheats and un-lockable features through “NHL Cards” by performing tasks and reaching milestones also accomplish this task by combining challenge, reward, and entertainment for the gamer.

“Our objective with NHL 2002 was to stretch the boundaries, pushing for the ultimate in both realism and entertainment value from the moment the players leave the locker room until the final horn,” said Kevin Wilkinson, senior producer of NHL 2002.  “We believe we’ve done that through a series of new innovations and enhancements including Breakaway Cam, new lighting and camera angles, customized celebrations, user-controlled saucer passes, manual dekes, exciting gameplay, enhanced graphics, and other added features.”

Developed by EA Canada, NHL 2002 for the PC carries an ESRB rating of “E” for Everyone and an MSRP of US$39.99 for PC-CD and   US$49.99 for the PlayStation 2 console.  NHL 2002 for Xbox™ video game system from Microsoft is scheduled to ship in December.

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